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Old 7th March 2015, 09:35   #1
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Default VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

The windshield wiping fluid tank of the VW Polo/Vento is located in front of the driver-side wheel well cladding. The tank is hidden from the view and there’s no way to assess the level of the fluid inside the tank.

The other day, I was browsing through some Russian forums and stumbled upon this retrofit (link) wherein a level sensor was installed to the bottom of the tank and the output was fed to the instrument cluster plug. That link didn’t have much details so dug a bit deeper and came across a link on Briskoda forums (link) wherein the owner had retrofitted this on his Octavia. Turned out to be a very simple mod. The level sensor is installed at the bottom-most part of the windshield washing fluid tank, 2 wires originate from the sensor - one goes to the instrument cluster’s plug and the other to GND. Enable the option in VCDS and we’re done! As always, I’ve detailed the steps below.

Parts Required:

Parts with the part numbers and the quantity follows:

1. Sensor - 7M0 919 376, Qty - 1 no.

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2. O-ring - 7M0 919 382, Qty - 1 no.

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3. Connector plug - 7M0 973 202, Qty - 1 no.

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4. VW terminal - N 906 844 05, Qty - 2 nos.

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5. VW terminal - N 907 647 01, Qty - 1 no.

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6. Earth crimp terminal, Qty - 1 no.

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7. Seal - 357 972 741B, Qty - 2 nos.

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8. Wire - 1.25 sq. mm, Qty - 5 m.

OR

Just get the entire kit from Aliexpress (link) which includes all the above parts.

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-wp_20150225_19_54_37_pro.jpg

This is the better option IMO since everything is included in the kit and would end up being cheaper than sourcing all the parts separately.

7. Plain water, 3 L.

8. Heat shrink sleeve - 3 mm , Qty - 150 mm.

Finding the part numbers for the sensor assembly was easy since the Partsbase link had the details:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-53b9bcb4a157bf90918f3f7862962fc8.png

Tools Required:

1. Drill with the chuck key.

2. Hole saw - 1” suitable for wood/plastic.

3. T20 Allen key/hex bit or equivalent Torx. bit.

4. Wheel wrench (from the car’s tool-kit).

5. Screw jack (from the car’s tool-kit).

6. Triangular file

7. Silicone sealant (Anabond 666T Plus or similar).

8. Heat gun.

9. Jack stands.

Wiring Schematic:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-6r10810.png

G33 is the sensor and one lead goes to the instrument cluster plug’s pin # 17 and the other one to 269 which is GND. Pin no. 20 from the cluster plug is also GND.

Procedure:

1. Jack up the front of the car and rest the front part under 2 jack stands.

2. Unscrew the 5 bolts of the wheel using the wheel wrench and remove the wheel:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9830.jpg

Important - The jack shown above was oriented incorrectly. The correct way to mount the jack is this way:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-wp_20141225_09_58_07_pro.jpg

3. Unscrew 14 nos. T20 socket screws that holds the wheel well liner in place, using the allen key or hex. bit and pull the wheel well liner out.

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9835.jpg

Note that there are 2 screws beneath the front bumper and you may have to access it this way:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_20150306_155014.jpg

4. The plastic tank that stores the windshield washer fluid and the pump is now visible:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9840.jpg

Drill a 1” hole at the location as indicated below and let the water inside the tank drain out:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_20150306_115821.jpg

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9846.jpg

Use the file to smoothen out the rough edges of the hole and remove the swarf.

5. Insert the sensor + o-ring into the hole:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9862.jpg

It should be a tight fit and there should be no leakages. Seal the edge using the silicone sealant and allow it to cure for an hour. Test for leakages by pouring clear water through the pipe.

6. Connect the plug of the harness to the sensor’s male socket:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9872.jpg

and connect the GND wire from the harness to the nearest nut that holds the tank to the car's frame as indicated in the snap above.

7. The second wire must be led near the instrument cluster through the grommet located at the co-driver side of the firewall:

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Image credit: VW Workshop Manual

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9864.jpg

The hood release cable comes through the grommet located at the driver side but I was unable to use this grommet due to the wiper lever mechanism. The hole on the other side (used for LHD cars through which the hood release cable goes) was closed with a dummy grommet so we used that instead. The routing of the cable turned out to be longer but we had no other option and did not want to drill a hole on the firewall just for the sake of this wire.

8. We're done with the cabling on the outside. Replace the wheel well cover, replace the tire and screw it using the wheel wrench. Remove the screw jack.

9. Refer the link here and follow steps 2 to 6 to remove the instrument cluster and unplug the connector behind the cluster.

Remove the blue cover from the plug and insert the pin into the vacant slot #17:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9875.png

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9876.jpg

Replace the blue cover and the plug into the cluster. Screw the cluster back and replace the plastic trim.

10. Enable the option in VCDS.

Head to 17 - Instruments:

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Coding - 07:

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Long Coding Helper:

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Under Byte 1, click on Washer Fluid Warning active/installed:

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Exit out of the window and Do It!:

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Results:

We had drained the entire tank when the hole was made so the warning should come up:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9881.jpg

Once the tank was filled, the warning went off.

Total expenses incurred: Rs. 1888 (for the sensor + loom) + Rs. 250 (for 1” HSS hole saw).

Many thanks to Moorthy for lending me a helping hand (as always), ciclo - a member from the UK Polo forums for helping me with the electrical schematic, moderator ajmat - our in-house VAG guru for his prompt feedbacks and go-ahead for this retrofit and finally, ze Russians () for attempting these nifty modifications which improves the overall experience of a VAG car ownership.

The same DIY can also be extended for installing the coolant level sensor on the coolant expansion tank to eliminate the low coolant sensor warning light which was originally done by connecting pin #18 to GND.

And guys, it looks like there are tonnes of excellent information hidden in the Russian forums. Unfortunately, they do not turn up in the Google results because they post entirely in the Russian language. In case you wish to do such simple mods, do go through these Russian forums. You may find what you were looking for.

It was also Holi yesterday and these little buggers gave us company while we were working on the car yesterday:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-img_9887.jpg


Last edited by Gannu_1 : 5th August 2015 at 17:41. Reason: Removed the snap that shows the car jacked up. Jack was oriented incorrectly.
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Old 7th March 2015, 10:16   #2
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Note from Mod

An excellent well researched and presented article. 5 Stars!!

Moving live
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Old 7th March 2015, 15:18   #3
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Nice write up. I just feel the need for one BIG caution.

You really should never ever get underneath a car whilst it is just resting on a jack. What you are doing is, I hate to say, an extremely unsafe practice!

In this case you are using a very simple jack knife too. You say to put something behind the wheel so the car won't roll. But even then, it only takes very little movement of the car to topple this kind of jack. And yes you are likely to be very, very, very dad if a car falls onto your face/chest. Unfortunately, every year DIY mechanics die, because they don't take this serious. Dying over a windshield washer tank low level sensor is not worth it.

You should never get underneath a car whilst on a jack. You should get some axle stands or similar. The jack you are using is particularly lethal. If the car rolls only a centimetre, sometimes even less, it will snap off. I have seen it happen.

Back home, I have two very large hydraulic jacks as used by professional workshops. And I won't even get under my car when it is up on those. Always put it on axle stands, or something else solid, large piece of wood. Even your tire with some planks on it, stuck under the doorsill is better than this.

Jeroen
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Old 7th March 2015, 15:41   #4
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Always put it on axle stands
Will get myself 2 pairs of jack stands as soon as I find out a local source. I did try online sometime back but couldn't find any India based e-commerce sites selling these.

Many thanks for pointing out the safety risks Jeroen. Appreciate it.
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Old 7th March 2015, 16:19   #5
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning



Gannu you did two wrong things and by Gods grace nothing went wrong.

1. You used the wheel jack other way round. The white plastic part should have been supporting the car and not on ground. Image for reference.

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-wheel-jack-vw.jpg

2. Use Jack Stands hence forward whenever you wish to take wheel off from car. Jacks are not meant to take car weight for longer duration.

Get Torin jack stands, the best. 3 Ton. I have got a pair of them, works great.

Lastly, excellent D.I.Y.

Last edited by el lobo 6061 : 7th March 2015 at 16:31.
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Old 7th March 2015, 16:57   #6
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Gannu,
Excellent details. Thanks for posting.
Take care in future as advised by experts.
I wonder how come jack was placed in wrong direction?
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Old 7th March 2015, 17:51   #7
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

No words other thank an excellent well researched and well presented DIY!! I look forward to your DIYs. Just a bit shaken to see that the jack was setup the other way around. Thank god nothing happened. Please be more cautious in future.
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Old 7th March 2015, 19:18   #8
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by el lobo 6061 View Post
1. You used the wheel jack other way round. The white plastic part should have been supporting the car and not on ground. Image for reference.
This is really embarrassing now. :(

Not sure how we ended up jacking the car using the wrong side of the jack but believe me, at one point both of us sat inside the car for a long time when the car was jacked up and we were doing the VCDS changes.

Thanks for pointing it out Rohaan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
Please be more cautious in future.
Pretty sure this won't happen in the future now that this episode will remain in my mind forever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raosaheb Desai View Post
I wonder how come jack was placed in wrong direction?
We didn't pay attention at that time in the interest of getting this done quickly. :(

EDIT: The VW jack is also infamously titled the widowmaker in the VAG community and forums:

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Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th March 2015 at 19:41.
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Old 8th March 2015, 09:36   #9
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Im glad your safe after the jack placement.

Good DIY post, but a quick question from my side. Is this compatible only with the maxidot cluster, or do you think it will work with the 2014 facelift cluster also?
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Old 8th March 2015, 09:38   #10
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Pretty sure this won't happen in the future now that this episode will remain in my mind forever!
We didn't pay attention at that time in the interest of getting this done quickly. :(

EDIT: The VW jack is also infamously titled the widowmaker in the VAG community and forums:
For the sake of the community and people who read your popular posts (), you might just want to add a caution note in your opening post where the picture of the jack is used and add that this is a wrong way of jacking up the car and the error was noted. If the thread cannot be edited, mods can help you do that.
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Old 8th March 2015, 10:15   #11
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Awesome Gannu!! As usual wonderful & clear cut report with Details !!

BTW, do let me know when you have plans to sell off this baby
I guess you have done more engineering works on your Car, than VW India would have ever thought of!!
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Old 8th March 2015, 11:18   #12
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmridul View Post
Im glad your safe after the jack placement.

Good DIY post, but a quick question from my side. Is this compatible only with the maxidot cluster, or do you think it will work with the 2014 facelift cluster also?
Moksh, I have a hunch this will work with the newer clusters. There's a very simple way to test this.

Enable the option in VCDS and if your cluster throws the warning, it supports it. The warning goes off when pin# 17 is earthed which happens when the water inside the tank completes the circuit between the 2 probes of the sensor.

Even this sensor is not really required. Insert 2 metal probes in the tank by making 2 small holes and you are done. You can even eliminate a dia. 25 hole in the tank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
For the sake of the community and people who read your popular posts (), you might just want to add a caution note in your opening post where the picture of the jack is used and add that this is a wrong way of jacking up the car and the error was noted. If the thread cannot be edited, mods can help you do that.
Will report the thread so it can be moved back to the Assembly Line. I think a note below that snap will be good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unni246 View Post
I guess you have done more engineering works on your Car, than VW India would have ever thought of!!
VW India has done some lousy cost cutting on the car. Some things which would hardly cost 10-20 Rs but makes a lot of difference to the owner.

Another instance is the lack of the dampers inside the grab handles above the doors which causes the handle to make the duk-duk sound when it retracts back after it hits the headliner. Even the Swift has these dampers and the handle retracts back gradually.

Check out this video and you'd understand what I meant:

Grab handles in Polo/Vento models sold here:



And the difference when the damper is placed on one end:

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Old 9th March 2015, 09:19   #13
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
For the sake of the community and people who read your popular posts (), you might just want to add a caution note in your opening post where the picture of the jack is used and add that this is a wrong way of jacking up the car and the error was noted. If the thread cannot be edited, mods can help you do that.
I've deleted that snap since it was showing up on Google results already:

VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning-1.png

And added the edit note suitably and let the other snap be, else the successive posts would appear out of place. I hope this is alright.
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Old 9th March 2015, 11:16   #14
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Default Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

As usual, a very detailed DIY . Voted 5 Stars.

Wouldn't it have been better if the sensor was fixed a little higher instead of the bottom most position?
It would be more useful if we are prompted to fill the tank with some fluid still left in the tank instead of saying that the tank is empty (which will be more times than not, evident).

Its another case if you can have two messages like "Low on wash fluid" and "wash fluid empty" but if we have room for only one position, I would've preferred the former.
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Old 9th March 2015, 11:52   #15
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Smile Re: VW Polo DIY: Windshield washer low-level sensor & dash warning

@Gannu_1

To simply put it. Awesome DIY, the amount of effort that have gone into the research and implementation is worth appreciating. You kind of have become a benchmark for DIY on the forum IMO.

My only concern is the silicone sealant which is used to hold the sensor, over the period of time they tend to become hard and start to loose the grip on the tank body. You may need to inspect them on regular intervals and keep re-applying them.

I hope VW are reading your posts, surely they must be nodding their heads in appreciation.
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